'''William Somerset Maugham''' Order of the Companions of Honour|CH
( ; 25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965), better known as '''W. Somerset Maugham''', was a British playwright
and short story
writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest-paid author during the 1930s.
[[http://www.online-literature.com/maugham/ "W. Somerset Maugham"], The Literature Network]
After losing both his parents by the age of 10, Maugham was raised by a paternal uncle who was emotionally cold. Not wanting to become a lawyer like other men in his family, Maugham eventually trained and qualified as a physician. The initial run of his first novel, ''Liza of Lambeth'' (1897), sold out so rapidly that Maugham gave up medicine to write full-time.
During the First World War, he served with the Red Cross
and in the ambulance corps, before being recruited in 1916 into the British Secret Intelligence Service